Updated: Saturday, 18th January 2020 @ 5:44pm

I didn’t sleep: Selection nightmare keeps Manchester United's Ryan Giggs awake ahead of ‘dream day’

I didn’t sleep: Selection nightmare keeps Manchester United's Ryan Giggs awake ahead of ‘dream day’

| By Sean Butters

Ryan Giggs admitted that a selection headache caused him to lose sleep ahead of Manchester United’s 4-0 home win over Norwich City on Saturday.

The Welshman took charge of his first game as interim manager following the sacking of David Moyes.

And was welcomed onto the Old Trafford pitch to a standing ovation and cries of ‘Giggs will tear you apart again’ from United supporters.

It was a dream start for the 40-year-old, as United recorded their best Premier League win of the season against the Canaries.

But despite the positivity around Old Trafford, Giggs conceded that the pressure of the job had got to him.

“I didn’t sleep last (Friday) night,” he said.

“Players on the bench, leaving the likes of Juan Mata out of the starting 11was a difficult decision and a position I’ve never been put in before.

“I’m interim manager but I’m also one of their teammates, so it was tough to leave them out.”

After a nervy first-half, Wayne Rooney gave the home crowd what they wanted by slotting home a penalty on 41 minutes after Danny Welbeck was brought down in the box.

Their lead was doubled just after the break when Rooney got his second, curling home from 18 yards out.

And although Giggs may have initially had his doubts, these were put to rest when he brought on Mata who sealed victory for the home side.

The Spanish international came off the bench to score his fourth and fifth goals since arriving from Chelsea in a performance that his new manager dubbed a ‘masterclass’.

“To not start the game was disappointing for him and I’m really pleased that he came on and made such an impact,” said Giggs.

“He put on a half-hour masterclass, he was brilliant and I was really happy for him because it’s not easy because he’s got a big price tag.”

Mata returned the praise, describing playing under Giggs as a ‘pleasure’, while Rooney admitted it was unusual to have his former teammate in charge but backed him to be a managerial success.

“It’s strange, I played with him for the last ten years,” he said.

“Giggsy has come in and we know he’s an experienced player but he’s built to be a manager, we can see that by how he’s handled himself.

“It’s down to the board, I think he’s got all the credentials, who knows.”

Though the enduring image of Giggs will remain as a player, at least for United fans, the Welshman appeared to be warming to the idea of making the transition into management.

“All the years I walked out at Old Trafford, I’ve never felt like that,” he said.

“I felt ten feet tall.

“I enjoyed it and 4-0 is a dream day for us so I’m really pleased.”

Giggs was informed by the United board that he will take the helm on a temporary basis until the end of season, with a decision to be made on a permanent appointment in the summer.

The United veteran replaced Moyes just ten months into the Scots’ six-year contract, after a torrid campaign which was the Reds’ worst in 24 years.

Both Moyes’ tactics and a lack of conviction from the players were at the forefront of possible reasons behind the calamitous display.

However, Phil Jones yesterday hit out at critics who supported the latter theory.

“That was never the case,” said Jones.

“Players don’t go out on the football pitch to lose games. That is ridiculous.

“Everyone wants to win every game at this club. That accusation is hurtful.”

Rooney admitted that his teammates had to shoulder some of the blame though for poor performances but said that Saturday’s display served as a retort to their critics.

“It’s down to us as a team, as players, we’ve had a tough week,” said the 28-year-old.

“We understand there has been a lot of negativity towards us as a team and we were hurt by that and today we wanted to show we’re a good team.”

Giggs is currently the bookies’ second-favourite to be the next United manager as the club are reportedly in talks with Holland boss Louis van Gaal, while Jurgen Klopp, Diego Simeone and Jose Mourinho are among the outsiders.

Image courtesy of Beanyman Sports, via Youtube, with thanks